Almost 12 million pounds of frozen chicken is being recalled by Tyson Foods Inc., according to the Department of Agriculture.
The recall is classified as “Class I,” with a high health risk.
The recall covers chicken strip products, according to the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.
The chicken “may be contaminated with extraneous materials,” according to a USDA statement posted on its website.
The chicken strips being recalled were sold between Oct. 1, 2018, and March 8, 2019, and have “Use By Dates” of Oct. 1, 2019, through March 7, 2020, the USDA said.
Products being recalled have the establishment number “P-7221” on the back of the package.
The products were sold under the Tyson, Great Value, Hannaford, Spare Time and Food Lion brands, among others.
A full list of all products covered by the recalled was released.
Tyson Foods, expands chicken strip products recall due to possible foreign matter contamination. Recall now includes and additional 11.7 million pounds of product. Products sold under multiple brands. https://t.co/R68UQeUFJC pic.twitter.com/GQvqehgOkA
— WSU Food Safety (@WSU_foodsafety) May 4, 2019
“Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them,” the statement said.
“These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.”
The Food Safety and Inspection Service said it began investigating the chicken product after it received two consumer complaints.
There are now a total of six complaints, with injuries from metal products in the chicken being claimed in three cases.
Consumers who want to speak to someone about the recall can contact Tyson Foods Consumer Relations at 1-866-886-8456.
In January, Tyson recalled 36,420 pounds of chicken nuggets after a report that rubber was found in the chicken, CNN reported.
Jaydee Hanson, policy director at the Center for Food Safety, said companies are more willing to recall food than in the past.
“You want things recalled before anybody dies. You want things recalled, ideally, before anybody’s sick. If companies think that the FDA and the USDA are looking over their shoulder, they’re going to do a better job,” Hanson said.
Another expert said that as the number of steps increase in the food distribution web, so do the chances for contamination.
“Fifty years ago you would have gotten lettuce from a farmer in your state, now it’s coming from California and Arizona on a much larger scale,” Matthew Jon Stasiewicz said.
Stasiewicz is an assistant professor of applied food safety at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“When you get food on a larger scale it’s not inherently any riskier, but if there’s a problem the potential harm is magnified,” Stasiewicz said.
What’s in your meat and poultry products? And do you want to know? Yes, you should. Metal, plastic and other foreign materials are making their way in, and here’s what the USDA is doing. https://t.co/QBaBTRIkrC
— Stephanie Stephens, M. A. (@StephStephens) April 27, 2019
The size of some recalls is vast.
In late 2018, about 12 million pounds of beef was ultimately recalled by JBS Tolleson, an Arizona-based meat company, after reports of salmonella that were linked to meat the company supplied to various retailers, according to Insider.com.
A salmonella outbreak also led to a recall of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks last summer, NPR reported.
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